After bruising 2020 campaign, Malinowski’s trading activity could spell doom in 2022

MP Tom Malinowski listens during a House Foreign Affairs hearing. | Stefani Reynolds / Pool via AP

Rep. Tom MalinowskiFailure to disclose up to $ 1 million in stock deals in companies involved in the country’s Covid-19 response has made the New Jersey Democrat’s 2022 re-election campaign a bright red target.

What happened: Malinowski, who won a close race against Senator Tom Kean Jr. in 2020, was reportedly involved in a number of deals involving medical and technology companies involved in the pandemic. The Associated Press reported on Friday. Recent trades, which Malinowski claimed were executed by his broker without his input, have cut the stocks of at least six companies for between $ 62,000 and $ 230,000.

The full extent of Malinowski’s dealings during the pandemic period is unknown. According to the AP, this financial information had not been released until Friday morning.

The new report lands on the heels of a couple of Ethical complaints Levy against the congressman who, as a member of the Obama administration, got into financial difficulties because he failed to disclose his trading activities.

“At no point in the last 25 years have I asked, suggested, or even asked questions about any particular business of my brokerage firm,” Malinowski, who is serving in his second term, told the AP. He also said his failure to file reports of his financial activity was “a bug that I own 100%”.

Why it matters: Given Malinowski’s narrow profit margin over Kean – he finished the race with 5,311 votes out of nearly 434,000 votes cast – is not surprising, the National Republican Congressional Committee announced New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District would be a key destination for 2022.

It is widely believed that Kean – the Senate Republican leader since 2008 and the son of the most popular former New Jersey governor – is preparing for another run after his announcement He would not seek re-election to the statehouse.

“If Tom Kean decides to run for Congress, Tom Malinowski will be by far the most vulnerable Democrat in the entire state,” Kean spokesman Harrison Neely told POLITICO on Friday. “I think this guy has a real problem with his hands. … It’s not just his pandemic that is benefiting now, it was exposed as a pattern in his year. ”

Shortly after the AP’s article was published, the NRCC blew up the story with an escort statement Calling Malinowski “corrupt”. Former GOP chairman Doug Steinhardt interfered on Twitter and described the congressmen as “corrupt”.Scam. “The current Executive Director of the State Party, Tom Szymanski, tweeted The new report was “a major problem” for Malinowski, adding that “(a violation of federal law is usually the case)”.

Malinowski’s Congress Bureau declined to comment and instead referred POLITICO to a Press release The congressman announced earlier on Friday.

Will it matter While news of short selling and financial failure to disclose would be detrimental in any context, it’s difficult to predict whether that story will haunt the Democrats into the 2022 campaign.

“In some cases, someone can create a potential controversy if the issue doesn’t affect that person’s essential brand that sold them to voters,” Monmouth University pollster Patrick Murray said in an interview. “I’m not sure how much this is essential to Malinowski’s brand.”

The fact that Kean – a symbol of a pre-Trump Republican party in New Jersey – didn’t depose Malinowski in 2020 could spell trouble for the GOP, especially after a national political discourse inflamed by cultural wars pushed the district to the left, said Murray.

Another aggravating factor is redistribution in Congress. Malinowskis is hardly the only nearby district in New Jersey whose house delegation prefers the Democrats 10-2, and it’s unclear how much makeup CD-7 would change between now and election day 2022.

Even so, “he was in trouble even before the financial difficulties,” a Democratic agent told POLITICO. “Now it’s demonstrably gotten worse.”

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